Hardik Patel quits Congress, party calls him opportunist

Hardik Patel quits Congress, party calls him opportunist

Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel. (File Photo: IANS)

Ahmedabad, May 18 (IANS) Congress party and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders have lashed out at Hardik Patel, who resigned from the Congress party on Wednesday. Excluding one or two PAAS and BJP leaders, no one has come out in support of Hardik. Former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has been very cautious, while some leaders called Hardik an opportunist. Hardik Patel said he will address the media on Thursday. Congress spokesman Manhar Patel launched counter attack on Hardik for his allegation on the party and leaders. "Hardik has no right to make any allegations, because at a very young age, party made him working president, a star pracharak of the party, campaigning in UP, Punjab and Uttarakhand. No other party will ever give him such importance." Gujarat Congress in-charge Raghu Sharma has alleged that Hardik is fearing Naresh Patel's entry in the Congress, as he felt that once Naresh Patel enters the party, his importance will wane." Playing down Hardik's resignation, former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, it was his personal decision to join Congress, now his resignation too is his personal decision. BJP's media coordinator Yagnesh Dave, however, is throwing all his support behind Hardik Patel to target Congress. There were eight big faces of PAAS movement in 2015, of which six -- Chirag Patel, Varun Patel, Lalji Desai, Lalit Vasoya, Gita Patel and Manoj Panara were against his decision to quit Congress, while Alpesh Kathiriya and Dilip Sabva welcomed it. PAAS convener Gita Patel, while lashing out at Hardik, said, he is autocrat, never takes colleagues and associates on board, he is self centred activist turned politician. Lalji Desai said, "We as PAAS had promised to the community that we will not join politics. Because he joined politics, community members are angry with us and abusing us, now we will have to face more ire." Varun and Chirag joined BJP long back, but both are against Hardik's entry in the BJP. They said he will never be welcomed by patidar workers in the party, as they have fought against him. Varun has gone a step further and said, Patidar workers are silent, but not spineless. After saying this, both agree on one point, that if party high command decides to take him in the party, we will respect the decision. In his resignation letter, Hardik Patel alleged that the Congress has no interest in Gujarat, just opposing policies and programmes, never becoming an option to the ruling party that people are looking for. He has further alleged that even after several efforts, the party failed to act in national interest and for the society. The Congress was obstacle on issues like article 370, CAA-NRC and implementation of the GST. These were people's aspirations and the need of the hour for which the Congress should have played a positive role, but it did not, Patel said.

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